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The Unreasonably Hospitable Publisher

How Racket embraces a book ostensibly about the restaurant industry.
Jun | 24 | 2024
  Jun | 24 | 2024
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BY Phil Simon
  Phil Simon

The Unreasonably Hospitable Publisher

How Racket embraces a book ostensibly about the restaurant industry.
Phil Simon
Jun | 24 | 2024

The Unreasonably Hospitable Publisher

TL;DR: How Racket embraces a book ostensibly about the restaurant industry.
Phil Simon
Jun | 24 | 2024

The new season of The Bear drops soon, and I can’t wait. The show revolves around an eponymously named Chicago restaurant, and Forks is arguably its best episode. IMDB gives it a 9.7.

Here’s a quick synopsis: Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s character, the volatile and stubborn Richie Jerimovich, finally buys in. He suddenly makes fundamental changes to his life. It’s freakin’ amazing to watch.

And now a clip:

At one point, Richie starts reading Will Guidara’s bestseller Unreasonable Hospitality. (I’m nearly finished with the audiobook myself.)

Ebon Moss-Bachrach in The Bear.

A lightbulb goes off. Richie suddenly gets it and sheds the ‘tude. He strives to make each customer experience unique. He begins anticipating their needs and even wearing suits. It’s downright inspiring to watch the transformation. (Moss-Bachrac won an Emmy for his performance.)

Questions

Needless to say, you needn’t work in a restaurant to practice unreasonable hospitality. In the brief time that Racket has existed, I’ve asked myself the following Bear-like questions:

  • Can we build and use the best book-management system on the planet—and tweak it to meet its clients’ preferences?
  • Can its cover designers provide extra ideas, even though the client didn’t specifically ask for them?
  • Can its copyeditor fact-check something that seems a smidge fishy?
  • Can its interior designer change a book’s figures at the last minute because a client changed her mind?
  • Can I go above and beyond the call of duty? For example, in my spare time, can I find the time to read a lengthy book on a subject to better educate myself about my new client’s industry so I can ghostwrite more effectively?
  • Can its small but mighty team take an emergency meeting on Thanksgiving morning to accommodate a client’s last-minute request?
  • Can we put a project on hold for three months because the client needs an unexpected hiatus?
  • Can we regularly deliver the goods before they’re due?
  • Can we comp a client free training classes?
  • Can we send a nice bottle of red wine to a client to congratulate her on her new book?
  • Can we conduct AI experiments and see how they can improve the publishing process?

And, no, in almost all of these cases, the client didn’t even need to ask the question. One of the fulcrums of Unreasonable Hospitality is anticipating customer needs in advance. If Richie can do it on The Bear, then so can Racket, dammit.

On Books and Wicked Environments

If Richie can do it on The Bear, then so can we, dammit.

At the risk of being immodest, that philosophy is paying off. The fifth Racket title is coming soon, and a previous client referred the author to us. The former found us pleasantly unreasonable.

What You Need to Know

There are plenty of traditional and hybrid publishers out there. Regardless of which path you take, lines are blurring. Before signing anything, ask yourself this question: Did the publisher’s previous authors find its personnel unreasonably hospitable?

If not, then we should chat.

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